Relationship

Dear Judy: She locks herself in her room, is not social & hates her job. I want to help her…

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Photo by Harana Zhang

 

Originally published in the June 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS magazine , by Judy Torres

Hola Judy:

I went through a really rough patch a few years ago and got out of it. It took a lot of effort but I really turned my life around. Part of that was meeting my soul mate and getting married. All is good on our side, but I worry about my husband’s sister. She seems to be in the same rough patch that I was in a few years ago. She has become withdrawn. She works at a job that does not fulfill her and she locks herself in her room when she gets home. I want to help her. I have so much advice to offer, but I am afraid of overstepping boundaries. Her family acknowledges the need for her to change her habits—to get some exercise, apply for new jobs and be social—but should I be the one to help her? How can I get close to her?

 

 

 

Dear Concerned One:

First, let me applaud you for caring about your sister-in-law. Some people find it hard to connect with their in-laws, and I think it’s so kind of you to care for your sister-in-law. It is SO easy to spot a serious problem, when we ourselves have been in the same shoes. But connecting with people sometimes is not so easy. I think the solution is simpler than you may think. Knock on her door, and ask her to come out. Get her OUT of the house. Take her for a mani/pedi, lunch, or take her out for coffee.And then tell her the truth. Tell her everything you wrote right here.

Tell her the following:“I really care about you, not just because you’re my sister-in-law,but because I know exactly what you are going through. Many years ago,I went through a rough patch. It was one of the worst times of my life. I did what you did. I hid. But after some time I finally got out of it. And I want you to know that I simply want our relationship to be stronger.I’d like us to be closer.

Let her know you are there for her if she just needs someone to listen. And IF she does come to you, don’t hurry your response by giving her a solution. It sounds to me as if she truly needs someone to LISTEN. So hear her out. Her story is not exactly your story, but you’ve been there. I want to add that many times when people isolate themselves,they are in a state of depression. So consider how long she’s been acting like this. If it’s more than three months, she may need professional help, and she needs to know that there is nothing wrong with that. Lastly, just put your arms out, and hug her. Remember, when people are hurting, they tend to get over it in their own time. So all you can do is remind her that you and your husband are there for her always.And that no matter what, you love her, and want nothing more than for her to be truly happy!

 

 

 

→See for more of this story in this month’s issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine.

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Is Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Marriage In Trouble?

 

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Beyonce and Jay-Z were all hugs and kisses during their Wednesday night concert in Seattle. Ever since TMZ released the video of Solange attacking Jay-Z after the MET Ball rumors began to fly that were are over, split, broken-up, or divorced. This display of affection seemed to prove otherwise.

Beyonce stated to Hollywood Life that she does not want a divorce, she’s very against it on principal. That’s why they waited so long to get married — she wanted to be a hundred percent sure. Jay and Beyonce also agreed that they would never put their daughter, Blue Ivy through a divorce. It’s been a hard couple of months, but who doesn’t have problems in their relationships?

I’m really happy to know that Beyonce and Jay Z are putting what’s most important to them a priority — their Blue Ivy

Do you think this is real or a publicity stunt? Does this dynamic duo really need the press? Can this be a mere plot to sell tickets for the “On The Run” Tour? Share your thoughts.

Love Advice: Should I Leave My Young Lover?

[Originally published in LatinTRENDS Magazine Issue #106; March 2014]
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Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

I am what is called a cuarentona. I’m forty but I’m fit and I have a teenage son. I pay for my son to attend a private school and he is doing very well. No problem there. The thing is that I am dating a younger guy. My guy is 22. We’ve been dating for three months and he wants me to meet his mother. I’ve been coming up with excuses but a good friend of mine helped me to see that I’m just insecure. I just assume his mother will not approve.

Being a mom myself, I think I know how she might feel. Also, I’m not in love. I just really like this guy. Do you think it’s time for me to leave my young lover? I know this relationship is limited. What do you think? Is our time up?

Abrazos,
La Cuarentona

 

Dear Cuarentona,

You are, what is called “human.” There is nothing wrong with age differences MOST of the time, provided that you are not liable to be arrested for statutory rape. In this case, he is 22, and you are 40. Let’s do the math. You are 18 years older than him. You have lived life, gained wisdom, and have had enough heartache in life to know that love will always give you more chances. At 22 your guy hasn’t. His life is just beginning, in a way. What do you really have in common?

At 40, sometimes we notice our mortality. We know that in 10 years, we will be considered middle-aged, and to have the attention of a hot, handsome 22 year old has GOT to make you feel sexy, attractive and wanted. And who doesn’t want to feel that way?

If you were just having an affair, a fling, and both of you knew that’s what this is, then I would say keep having fun. But big alarms went off in my head when you mentioned that he wants you to meet his mother. That means he is thinking that this is a serious relationship. As for his mother, of course she’s not going to like it at all because she will see the potential for her son to be hurt.

I suggest you don’t even show your face to her unless you are ready to confess your love for him. Your’e not in love with him. It looks like you’re just having fun. And let’s just call a spade a spade here. Your young lover is your boy toy. And you are his MILF (Mother I’d like to #%@)…you are the cougar, haha. It’s fun in the beginning, and 3 months is about the time where people decide to go exclusive. So a decision needs to be made here. And since your are not in love with him that decision is simple. STOP it.

It’s time to end it. I say let him go, and allow him to bring a woman who actually loves him to meet his mother one day. But that woman is not you. Cuarentona, this is a lesson for you too. I’m 45, and being in our 40’s we know by now that the heart is not to be played with. So, if you wouldn’t want someone to just use you, don’t use him. Good luck!!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: Should I Propose To My Boyfriend?

Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

I’ve been dating the most wonderful guy for EIGHT YEARS now!!! Mr. Wonderful and I met in college, we live together, our families LOVE each other and they love us together. All the planets seem to be aligned – they’ve been aligned for a few years now – but Mr. Wonderful hasn’t popped the question!

The thing is that it doesn’t seem like he will either. There was a time when I brought up marriage constantly but it only pushed him away. I’m still not quite sure why he won’t ask. He never gave me a straight answer. When I stopped pressuring him about it he went back to normal.

We both come from a traditional family and I don’t see any signs of childhood trauma. ANYWAY, I say all this to say that maybe I SHOULD ASK HIM TO MARRY ME! What do you think? Should I set up a romantic getaway and get down on one knee? I feel like maybe he just needs a push. But am I pushing him down a flight of stairs? No se que hacer. Ayudame Judy.

Love Pusher,
Wendy

 

Dear Wendy,

You have given this man not 1, not 2, not 3, not 5, but EIGHT years of your life. It is wonderful that you live together and I think it’s awesome that your families mutually love each other. Now, you say the planets are aligned, but I ask what planet is he really living on? Apparently he’s not living on yours.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of my “3 rule.” It takes 3 conversations to go out on a date; 3 dates to know if you’d like to begin a relationship; 3 months to decide if you’d like to keep this monogamous; and 3 years to know if you’d like to commit. After 8 years, there should be no confusion or doubt as to what kind of wife you would be, or what kind of life you would have together.

You have to ask yourself how important is marriage to you. If it is a NECESSITY – that you don’t want to just cohabitate with someone, that you need to hear him call you his wife, then you need to confront him again. Try approaching him differently than you did last time. Do NOT NOT NOT propose to him. It is only forcing your desire on him. It is an artificial way of getting what you want, which is for HIM to FREELY commit to you. If you ask him, one day you will look back and wonder if he would have ever asked at all. If you can live with him without being married forever, if you can drop the fantasy of that wedding day, then continue as things are – but something tells me you won’t be fulfilled.

Abrazos,
Judy

Love Advice: Should I Forgive My Husband’s Infidelities?

[Originally published in LatinTRENDS Magazine Issue #81; September 2011]
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Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

How can I forget and forgive my husband for his actions? It has been only a few months since I found out about his affairs – which lasted over four months with three different women. One was more intense than the others. He says he has broken off all contact with them and is only with me now.

When I learned about the affairs, I had no information other than he was having one. Someone I didn’t know told me, so I did not have much to go on. I have asked my husband some questions, but he refuses to answer them. He says I should let it go and move on, that my questions will lead to no good, and if I don’t stop I’m going to push him away.

I think about what he has done and different scenarios daily and try to ignore the hurt, but it’s hard. Should I ask questions, should he answer them, and will this pain ever go away? We are “trying,” and I’m running mostly on love and the hope that our relationship will survive.

Sincerely,
In Pain in Pelham Bay

 

Dear Pain,

My dear, it is so damaging that he even had the first affair…but he had the nerve to do it three times! When you marry, you do so for better or for worse. But this behavior is one of addiction and quite frankly, it’s abusive to your emotional well-being.

I would love to tell you to stay, but I can’t. He has HURT YOU! He has been selfish. Look at what he’s doing, not what he’s saying. There may have been some problems in your marriage already, but it doesn’t give him permission to stray.

If he was truly sorry, you would have heard it straight from him, not from a total stranger. If he was truly sorry, he would have never ever dreamed of doing it again…and AGAIN. If he really feels remorse, he would do ANYTHING to fix his mess. Then he would CHANGE his behavior entirely, including you in everything he can to make you feel comfortable.

A sincere apology means he truly understands the deep extent to which you’ve really been hurt. He would do everything to win back your trust: offer to go to counseling, giving you all details about where he’s going, etc. But he wants you to forget it – put it in the past and move on. That is the talk of a man who will do it again. He’ll just be smarter about it next time.

So to answer your question, yes – you should talk about it as many times necessary until YOU feel relief. Yes – he should answer them – if he really cares that he hurt you, he will be willing to disclose it all. He cannot change what he won’t acknowledge. And yes, the pain will go away, but as long as you stay in this lifestyle of deceit, you’re destined to get more pain. I think it’s YOU who’s trying to hang in there. I give you credit for that, but he is not…he just wants you to “get over it already.”

You are his wife, and you are entitled to be number one. If he makes you anything less than that, he doesn’t deserve you. Aren’t you entitled to be number one? YES! Should you stay? NO! Don’t tolerate this one more day.

Love,
Judy

Casper’s ICandy … Sofia Vassa or Xristina Marie ??

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In recent weeks, Smart has been accused of cheating on Jlo with transsexual bikini model Sofie Vissa, whom he met and exchanged sexual messages with online first.

However, Smart has denied the allegations – and subsequent claims involving a second transgender model – and Lopez reportedly believes him. Or was she looking for a way out?

Social media is getting SPICY! Within days of connecting on Instagram, transsexual model Sofie Vissa and Casper Smart were trading direct messages and eventually began exchanging racy photos, according sexy Sofie…

“I sent him like five or six pictures,” Vissa told Woman’s Day.

According to another source, Casper‘s been having “inappropriate relations with transgender model Xristina Marie,” confirming to TheDirty that they met in Miami and Casper knew 100% Xristina was a transexual model.

Casper needs to play ghost for a while..This is not looking good…

Love Advice: I’m Dating a Commitment-Phobe

[Originally published for LatinTRENDS magazine March 2013 Issue #96]
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Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Ms. Torres

(friend in my head),

I’ve been dating this guy for about five months. We are both well traveled, we graduated from Columbia, we each own our own businesses…but something isn’t right.

I’m not bad looking, I cook, I clean, I’m fun! But Mr. Perfect just doesn’t seem to want to…commit! It’s like he’s beating around the bush. He gets weird when we talk about emotional things – I think I’m done.

Do you think I’m cutting out too fast? Should I stay and wait a little longer? Am I expecting too much? Is it wrong to expect anything at all just a few months in?

Ok, I realize I have just asked you a whole lot of questions. I’m sorry…but Help!

Sincerely,
Ms. Can’t Think Of a Clever Pseudonym

 

Dear Ms. Can’t Think of a Clever Pseudonym, (friend in my head too!)

I have a strange rule when it comes to dating. I call it the Three Rule. Three conversations – you know you’re interested in a date. Three dates – you know whether you want to pursue a relationship. Three months – You know whether you want this to be a long-term relationship, exclusivity. Three years – Commitment.

You’ve been together for about five months. You have so many questions. I do think your relationship is still somewhat new, but not so new that you don’t know where you’re both headed.

On my first date with my current boyfriend of almost 2 years, although it was scary, I told him, “I want you to know that I’m not looking for a fling. Been there, done that. I am looking for the one, a husband, someone to share the rest of my life with.” I was afraid he would run out the door. He didn’t.

My dear, you need to TALK to him. Simply ask him what he wants, where he sees this going, and where he sees himself going in a year, and in five years. There’s a book written by Steve Harvey called, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Read it. He is very honest about how men think.

Good luck, and I love being the friend in your head!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: Desperate Housewife of Staten Island

Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

My husband and I stepped outside of our relationship, although we would never admit it. It all happened a year ago. I saw photos of him drunk and a little too close to a girl. She was cuter, maybe prettier than me.

I was working at a small catering business and my boss was hot. He knew everyone and treated me so special. I guess I fell for it so easily because my husband and I had just had our second child and I was feeling unattractive, weighed down and a little bored. I’ve stopped seeing my boss and I got another job.

I have never seen pictures of my husband with the girl from his drunken night out and he doesn’t seem to be hiding anything. My question is, can we really trust each other again? Should we stay together and, no matter how tedious it may seem right now, keep moving forward in our relationship? Is this what marriage and commitment are really about?

Yours truly,
Desperate Housewife of Staten Island

 

Dear Desperate Housewife of Staten Island,

Marriage: The state of being united to a person as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship, recognized by law – the state of being united.

Commitment: an act of committing to a charge or trust. I see two words here that stand out for me in these definitions: UNITED and TRUST. Are you united? And do you trust each other?

The first thing you wrote was that your husband AND you stepped outside of your relationship. But you didn’t confirm your husband had an affair. You only said you saw photos of him a little too close to another girl. Did he admit to an affair, or just inappropriate behavior? My guess is that seeing these photos, you understandably were enraged, confused and hurt. Who wouldn’t be? BUT did you confront him? Although you didn’t say, I’m assuming you avoided that very uncomfortable confrontation, and bottled your feelings inside. Because you were left feeling hurt, insecure and “less than,” you sought out comfort. Well let’s call it what it is: you were looking for revenge. And two wrongs never make a right.

So, the bottom line is: why did you get married and do you still believe your husband is your true life partner? All relationships are challenged with outside distractions, and inner problems at one time or another. But how you handle these situations, says a lot about who you both are. There is obviously a HUGE problem in your marriage. Infidelity is a symptom of an illness within your relationship. Find out what it is – together.

Get some professional counseling, and you’ll discover that he really has nothing to do with your infidelity, and you had nothing to do with his. The reason you marry someone is usually a different reason than why you remain married. It’s time to make more mature decisions. Get counseling, make a decision about whether this marriage is salvageable and move forward from this either way.

In my experience, it’s best to figure out NOW what’s wrong and try to make it work, than to just walk away and leave things unresolved. You will end up repeating the same errors, and you don’t have time in your life to waste on repeated mistakes.

Forgive yourself, forgive him, and WORK on re-trusting and re-committing to each other! Good luck to you.

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: Tired of waiting for fiancé!

Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

After living with my fiancé for four years, I am tired of waiting to get married. But he says he has doubts. He has never been married before. I am divorced myself because I was a teen bride and divorced after four years.

I am willing to take another chance because I am confident in our relationship. He is hesitant because he wants to be absolutely sure of the relationship before getting married. How long do I have to wait?

Tired of waiting from the boogie down!!!!!

 

Dear Tired of Waiting from the Boogie Down,

Four years. That’s 208 weeks. That’s 1,460 days…And NOW he’s having doubts?! It sure sounds as if he is. If he is your fiancé, then that means at some point, he ASKED you to marry him. So what happened from then until now?

He either asked you because, after knowing you for some time, he believed you were wife material and that your relationship was important enough to become a marriage. Or, here’s the hard part, he asked you because in some way, he felt he had to. Either he felt it was the right thing to do – after all you’re living together. Or could it be, if he was pressured in some way, he felt he had to ask to get you off his back?

Either way, living together for that amount of time sounds like a marriage already. And that’s the problem: you gave him a marriage lifestyle, without making him go through the motions of actually committing. I fear that if he’s not sure by now, he may never be sure.

A man who wants to make you his wife, will not hesitate. A marriage is something you work on. No marriage is perfect, but it is the mutual willingness to commit to life together as partners, that makes a marriage possible. I don’t think you should wait. If you don’t have children together, I think it’s even easier. You should break up; ask him to leave if he is not sure. Life is short and you don’t have any more time to lose.

Is marriage a mandatory thing you want in your life? If it is, then don’t waste any more time. It is difficult, but you deserve a man who can’t wait to walk down the aisle and say, “I do,” and not, “I’m not really sure.

In high school I had an amazing teacher, who used to say, “When in doubt, leave it out.” If he’s not sure – leave it out!! Good luck!

Love,
Judy

Relationship ‘Ruiners’

Dr. Seth Meyers, from “The Dr. Drew Show,” “The Doctors,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Early Show,” sheds light on the five self-destructive things people do that end their relationships. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Psychology Today Blogger, and Best-Selling Author of the book, “Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve” – he identifies what NOT to do and how to fix common relationship problems.

According to Dr. Seth, the number one action to end a relationship is Over-Reaction to something negative your partner says or does. “When your partner says or does something that makes you feel angry, sad or insecure, try telling yourself not to overreact and to hear your partner out without interruption,” says Dr. Seth. He recommends going to separate corners to reflect alone – creating physical space may help determine whether what was said is accurate or was said impulsively without much meaning.

Dr. Seth identifies Nagging as another surefire relationship killer. “Choose your battles with your partner – acting like a nagging mother or harping on an issue will not fix a situation and bring you closer, it will only push your partner further away.” Dr. Seth proposes polling a few close friends or relatives on the issue: if everyone agrees it’s a problem, then asking the partner to change it is justified. Another effective tactic is to ask your partner whether they think you nag them: if they say “yes,” apologize for past nagging and consciously work on changing that behavior. Also, check yourself by paying extra attention to the way you talk to your partner over the next week – if you catch yourself nagging, apologize immediately and distract yourself by engaging in another activity.

Insecurity can also lead to a breakup. “Men and women both want the same thing, someone confident and strong, not someone they need to reassure like a toddler,” says Dr. Seth. He warns that negative insecurities often don’t reflect how your partner sees you in reality. “No one wants a patient for a partner, so don’t turn your partner into your therapist – you’ll burn them out and they will start to detach from you,” cautions Dr. Seth. Instead, he suggests “coming out of the Insecurities Closet” by making a list of your primary insecurities, such as weight/body issues or fears of loss of attraction, and reviewing it together. He also finds journaling goals to self-heal the insecurities or seeking a trained psychotherapist extremely helpful.

Many relationships end due to Codependency. In a push to fuse with their partner, some people will forget about their own interests, hobbies and goals –things that may have attracted their partners in the first place. To break codependency’s false bond, Dr. Seth finds making a list of how and with whom you spent your free time prior to your relationship a worthwhile exercise. “Try monitoring the amount of alone time you have, as no couple should be spending all their free time together,” says Dr. Seth. He suggests pursuing an activity on your own, such as going to the gym or taking a fun class at your local community college.

Lastly, Dr. Seth classifies Compulsive Behaviors in the top five reasons why relationships end. “An increase in frequency of substance use, shopping, impulsive purchases, or going out will often make the grounded partner very anxious, destabilizing the relationship and causing it to end.” Potentially dangerous, Dr. Seth advises that compulsive behaviors should be addressed immediately. “Own up to your excessive behavior, tell your partner you are taking steps to put a stop to it, and ask your partner how your actions have impacted them to validate their feelings,” says Dr. Seth.

For more information on this topic, clinical expertise on romantic relationships, or to learn more about Dr. Seth Meyers, please visit www.drsethrelationshipexpert.com.